Cry Havoc #1-6 (Story Arc Review): A Lesbian Werewolf Goes to War... Well, Not Quite

Last week I talked about Simon Spurrier’s Boom! Studios-published miniseries, The Spire. But that’s not the only comic he’s created recently. Last month Boom! started publishing his new miniseries, Weavers, a gang story with some Cthulhu thrown into the mix. Meanwhile since the start of the year, Image Comics started publishing his ongoing series, Cry Havoc, which recently finished its first story arc. And its a comic with another lesbian protagonist.

London-based violinist Louise Canton is having a terrible time. She’s unable to keep a job with any band she plays with and unable to get any other job – which means their shared flat has to be paid for entirely by her zookeeper girlfriend. And now she’s been mugged by a werewolf (well, not really a werewolf, but I’m not going to spoil the entire comic) and has become one herself. She’s contacted by Inhand Org – a Blackwell-inspired company that offers to help her keep the beast at bay, and maybe even cure it. The price is her doing them a tiny favor – which involves her going to Afghanistan on a military mission to help track another mythical being gone rogue. And that’s when things go really bad.

What unfolds is one of the best ongoing modern day fantasy comics. The basic setup is an excuse to create an American Gods-style exploration of myth and its changing role as the humanity changes. What’s impressive is that a lot of the above exploration of stories can be ignored, and it’s mostly limited to a certain character at the end portion of the story arc. There’s a lot that will be noticed by people with more knowledge of mythology and modern day politics on the first – and even those details are expanded upon by Spurrier in a glossary at the end of each issue (which I presume will be collected in the trade paperback release). It helps understand the politics involving Afghanistan and learn of the incredibly varied mythical creatures that only appear for a panel at most.

Another clever feature of Cry Havoc is its storytelling structure. The story is clearly divided into three traditional parts: the beginning in London, the middle in Afghanistan and the end in the mysterious Red Place. All three of them appear in every issue, and Spurrier and the artists cut to them as it is needed for the story. And they make it in such a way that reading the scenes set later in the story don’t spoil any development of the previous parts. For instance, reading the Afghanistan portion in the first issue doesn’t mean we know the full story of London-based events.

To help make sense of the story, Spurrier got three different colorists to work on his part of the story. Filardi is in charge of the vibrant London-based beginning scenes. Wilson colors the much more rough middle of the story set in Afghanistan. And Loughridge is working on the final part in the Red Place. It also helps to showcase how much of the art depends on the often unsung colorists.

Amazingly written and fantastically rendered, Cry Havoc is a great new urban fantasy, especially for fans of American Gods. I can’t wait for the series return.

Cry Havoc is written by Simon Spurrier, drawn by Ryan Kelly and colored by Nick Filardi, Lee Loughridge and Matt Wilson. The first volume, Mything in Action, is set to be released on August 17.

Dominik Zine is a nerdy lad from northeastern Poland and is generally found in a comfy chair with a book in hand.